The Sociolinguistics of a Nollywood Movie

By Dr. Emmanuel Adedayo Adedun
2010 Journal of Global Analysis  
Recent trends in sociolinguistic study (Bleichenbacher 2008, Heller 2008, Coupland 2007, Lippi-Green 1997) have focused on the understanding of the ideologies that underpin linguistic variation and how linguistic behaviour in amultilingual setting makes people reveal both their personal identity and their search for social role (Le Page and Tabourett-Keller 1985). Language scholars have interrogated these issues more in face- to-face interaction than in fictional contexts. The movie as a genre
more » ... f fictional study has been found to be the 'most apt medium to represent the richness and complexity of real-life multilingual realities' (Bleichenbacher, 21).This article examines the dominance of English in Nollywood movies and the language ideology that is responsible. The semiotic processes of linguistic differentiation developed by Irvine and Gal (2000) and Mares' (2003) classificatory strategies for the analysis of multilingual texts provide the framework for the case study of a Yoruba movie in which there is a preponderance of English switching. Also, the distribution of languages in which filmmakers produce their movies in Nigeria indicates that English is dominant. Even when a movie is produced in the local Nigerian language, English words and expressions still feature prominently. The article consequently argues that the dominance of English in Nollywood movies is linguicist as the power relation between English and Nigerian languages is disproportionate. The local and global implications of this are then examined.
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